10,000,000: The Dungeon Crawling Puzzle Game
10,000,000 was a game I picked up on a whim as I was getting ready to go on a trip. Little did I know it would swiftly become one of my favorite mobile puzzle games. 10,000,000 is a hybrid RPG/matching-puzzle/adventure game, a combination that is equal parts weird and glorious.
The story of 10,000,000 is minimal, not that I expected anything mind blowing from a dungeon crawling puzzle game as far as story goes. You play an unamed prisoner whose goal is to score ten million points to earn his freedom. Points are scored by exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, and finding treasure. When you aren't killing monsters and looting dungeons, you will be upgrading your prison to get better weapons and armor.
10,000,000 looks and sounds like an old NES game. The graphics are nothing to write home about, but if you like the old 8-bit style, it will appeal to you.
The enemies and obstacles are easily identifiable so the graphics do not cause any confusion despite their old style. The music is catchy, especially the dungeon crawling song. The UI is easily navigable. In the mobile version, your inventory is on the top. Underneath that is the visual representation of your character moving through the dungeon encountering doors, chests, and enemies. Taking up the rest of the screen is the puzzle portion of the game. The PC, Mac, and Linux versions of the game are nearly the same, only with the inventory moved to the left.
Dungeon crawling x puzzling = Fun
For most of the game, you will be exploring dungeons and fighting monsters.
Upon entering the dungeon, the character will begin to move towards the right side of the screen until he encounters an obstacle (chest, door, or monster). While up against an obstacle you will slowly move towards the left side of the screen. If you touch the left side, you lose and return to the prison. Taking damage from enemies will move you closer to the left side of the screen as well. You can traverse these obstacles by lining up three or more of the blocks below.
Matching blocks is done by moving whole rows or columns (sort of like a Rubik's Cube). Matching swords or magic wands will attack monsters with melee or magic attacks respectively and shields decrease the damage you take from enemies. Keys unlock doors or chests. Backpacks give you items for your inventory. Stone and wood blocks can be accumulated to upgrade your prison. Killing monsters and unlocking chests provide you with gold and items. Items can be used to attack enemies, unlock locks, move closer to the right side of the screen, or change the blocks you have available.
Back in your prison, you can spend wood and stone to rebuild rooms that will let you spend your gold on weapon and armor upgrades or experience on character upgrades to help you progress further in each dungeon. Each dungeon comes with a list of challenges that will net you experience point bonuses.
The variety of obstacles you face makes this game very dynamic. Every game you play is a little different, requiring you to plan ahead, adjusting for any items you find, enemies you encounter, or block arrangements you get. There's more strategy to it than your average matching puzzle game.
I really like this game. It's one of the few mobile titles to stay on my phone for more than a few months. The Rubik's Cube-like matching mechanic was unfamiliar, but once I got used to it the game became really fun. If you're a fan of puzzle games, check it out. You can find it on the Android Market, Apple App Store, or on Steam.